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Old 03-23-2005, 04:28 PM   #1
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Unhappy 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

I had my surgery March 7, it was a posterior 260 degree fusion L4-5 with all the hardware, and bone graft in disc space. My doctor said it was a success, but yesterday I started having severe muscle spasms, and I am "off-sides", my muscles pulling my torso off to one side, and it is very painful. My doctor prescribed Soma yesterday, and Prednisone today (which I don't want to take for obvious reasons, my back surgery won't heal). I am in such pain I can't hardly get out of bed.

Please, if anyone else has had these painful muscle pulling spasms after surgery, tell me! I am scared my surgery has failed. I am alternating heat and ice. Nothing seems to be helping, and I am sure I didn't do anything to affect the integrity of the rods & screws. I went to the store with my hubby one day. It is horrible to be going backwards. My hubby has taken off work over two weeks, and he will have to go back soon, and I am wondering how I will even get out of bed.

Thanks for all responses!

 
Old 03-23-2005, 04:53 PM   #2
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

Blossom,

I've not taken Soma, but see that it is a muscle relaxant and you should know if it is helping or if you have a problem with it within 3-4 doses. I hope that it will give you the relief that you need from the spasms. My surgery for a 10 level fusion was in Dec 04, almost 4 months ago. I had terrible spasms that first week in the hospital, and truly thought I'd loose my mind before I got sufficient relief. However, the Flexeril works for me, and the spasms came under control of the meds so long as I would take them on time. Within 3-4 weeks constant spasms were a thing to remember, but I was able to slack off the meds and now they are much milder and shorter in duration, so I take a pill only infrequently. The doc told me that as soon as my muscles realized that they would not be used again things would settle down and they certainly did for me.

See that you had an L4-5 fusion, and you spoke of rods and screws. It sounds as though you may have had bone removed from the hip saddle. Is that what you had, or was BMP2 used? If you had bone taken from the hip, that may be why you are getting such pain and spasms. When my L3-4-5 and S-1 were fused, the pain and spasms caused from the bone being taken was much worse than the pain from the back fusion. All I can tell you is that when the pain left the buttocks it seemed like the world was suddenly brighter and the pain from the surgery was extremely mild in comparison. Thankfully my doc had warned me that it would be that way.

Afraid I don't understand not wanting the prednisone. It is great for reducing inflammation which you probably have from all the trauma. A short dose of it isn't what damages bones - it's like taking 200 mg a day for 2 years like I had to do with asthma. If he prescribed a 10 day-2wk pkgs, take it as he wouldn't prescribe it unless he felt it appropriate.

Do hope that the medication will allow your body to adjust quickly, but if not, don't hesitate to let your doctor know so that a different medication might be tried. Best wishes for a great recovery. Let us know how you are doing.

Last edited by Quietcook; 03-23-2005 at 04:56 PM.

 
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Old 03-23-2005, 05:43 PM   #3
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

Thanks for your fast response. My doctor used some of the laminae not hip bone, and some cadaver bone for the graft, so the pain isn't from that. I have had these horrible spasms in the past, but it's a different animal now that I am fused and I cannot go to chiropractor to get my spine straightened out. What is scary is how well I did the first two weeks, and now I seem to be going backwards. If it wasn't for the "offsides in spasm" deal I wouldn't be in so much pain. I am worried about the prednisone, because it will making the fusion less effective, it may totally fail. I hope you are right and taking just 5 days of it won't hurt my fusion.

I have taken 5 doses of the soma without relief, and I take one flexeril at bedtime, although I was taking 3 flexeril a day 10mg before yesterday. I guess the muscles are just rebelling now, and maybe they will release their painful grip on my spine soon. This is agony! BTW this is my second surgery, the first one was a laminectomy 13 years ago that failed when the disc bulged.

I have suffered 20 yrs chronic back pain and am used to muscle spasms, but the ones I am having now are much worse than in the past.

Thanks again! Any other comments appreciated, I would like to hear from folks having this same surgery, and if they experienced these horrible debilitating spasms.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 05:52 PM   #4
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

[COLOR=Magenta]Afraid I don't understand not wanting the prednisone. It is great for reducing inflammation which you probably have from all the trauma. A short dose of it isn't what damages bones - it's like taking 200 mg a day for 2 years like I had to do with asthma. If he prescribed a 10 day-2wk pkgs, take it as he wouldn't prescribe it unless he felt it appropriate[/COLOR].

Prednisone is an oral steriod, an anti-inflammatory meds. That is a huge after fusion until the fusion process is over. It is like taking NSIDS. You need the inflammation to help fuse the bone and help with the healing process. Why take the chance? I can't believe that a doctor would even suggest taking Prednisone after surgery.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

I understand about the muscle spasms and the pain. my surgery was in August and I still have the muscle spasms. I just had a laminectomy and an infection that only showed up 3 weeks after surgery which put me back in the hospital. Do you have any valium, I also have menieres and though its something unrelated to the back, they really do not know what causes it and the ear specialist put me on valium just for when the ear would go crazy, it would cause dizziness and nausea, the valium would reduce it. (can't explain why)Why I asked is it is suppose to have a muscle relaxor in it as well as reduces stress and anxiety, I noticed it would just take the edge off the spasms. sometimes one thing works for one thing and not for another. Its just a thought if you have it, when those muslce spasms hit like this, it is very hard to get through it. But you will, take care,
gcb in pgh

 
Old 03-23-2005, 06:28 PM   #6
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

Before he released me from the hospital, he told me not to take NSAIDs of any type. I couldn't understand why his nurse would prescribe them at this point. I'm still on the fence about taking them.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 06:30 PM   #7
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

Before he released me from the hospital, he told me not to take NSAIDs of any type. I couldn't understand why his nurse would prescribe them at this point. I'm still on the fence about taking them. Any other opinions or help would be appreciated.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 06:50 PM   #8
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

His NURSE prescribed them? You need to call the doctor and let him know...she shouldn't be prescribing anything! And I agree with Betty, there is no way you should take a steroid right now or anykind of anti-inflammatory. The best thing for muscle spasm as far as pills goes, is valium. You might ask the dr. if you could try a short course of that. If the pain is not near the incision area, have you tried using a heating pad for relief? Or lying on that side on top of a hot, moist towel?
Your muscles really take a beating when you have major surgery, and it could be that is why you are having such bad spasms. You are still taking things easy, not overdoing??

I really feel you need to speak directly to your dr about the nurse prescribing a steroid and about maybe getting some valium or anything else he might be able to suggest for relief.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Carol
__________________
2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

[QUOTE=carol632]His NURSE prescribed them? You need to call the doctor and let him know...she shouldn't be prescribing anything! And I agree with Betty, there is no way you should take a steroid right now or anykind of anti-inflammatory. The best thing for muscle spasm as far as pills goes, is valium. You might ask the dr. if you could try a short course of that. If the pain is not near the incision area, have you tried using a heating pad for relief? Or lying on that side on top of a hot, moist towel?
Your muscles really take a beating when you have major surgery, and it could be that is why you are having such bad spasms. You are still taking things easy, not overdoing??

I really feel you need to speak directly to your dr about the nurse prescribing a steroid and about maybe getting some valium or anything else he might be able to suggest for relief.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

Carol[/QUOTE]

I talked to the nurse. Not sure if she consuted the doc or not. I'll call tomorrow and get some clarification of the conflicting information. I've tried dry heat, and will try the wet heat. I have valium on hand and will ask the Doc about it. The pain is resonating from the left sacrum and spasms when I stand up. The incision seems to be healing well with very little or no swelling. I did have a BAD allergic reaction to the seri-strip tape they used. This healed up a couple of days ago, I thought I was doing well, then the spasms stated for no apparent reason. I didn't over do anything. The most I've done is walk around the grocery store for 30 minutes or so.

What are your opinions on sitting? I have been in my recliner some, and my hubby helps me out of it so I don't have to strain. All my doc said was not sit in chairs that are hard to get out of.

Thanks so much for the advise, I 'll get back with y'all tomorrow.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

it seems many of us fusion folks hit the pain wall on or about the two week post surgery mark. I had to go to the ER I was in so much pain. I had horrible spasms, cramping, so much pain even my pain meds PLUS soma wouldn't help. NOthing helped. But, there was no issues with my fusion either. I had a 360 degree two level lumbar interbody fusion in December. I got on the steroid pack and within four days was fine. Every day it got better. There have been atleast four of us here that have posted about the same time as you about major increases in pain. And, we all thought there was something wrong. I even had a fever. Def take the steroids, if they were prescribed then it is okay. I took a medrol pack. I wish you the best. USe ice and heating pad if you can in the meantime. Practice deep breathing and get as comfy in bed as you possibly can. Could even try some benadryl to help ease you into sleep. I really think you'll feel better after the steroids. Best wishes to you and let us know how you are doing!

 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:21 PM   #11
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

Mel, thanks for letting me know there are others in the boat with me. It helps to hear a "man on the street" that understands what I'm going through. May God bless you.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:22 PM   #12
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

[QUOTE=blossom64]Before he released me from the hospital, he told me not to take NSAIDs of any type. I couldn't understand why his nurse would prescribe them at this point. I'm still on the fence about taking them.[/QUOTE]


Blossom,

I believe you are calling Prednisone an Nsaid and it definitely is NOT. It is a corticosteroid instead of an Nsaid such as Naprosyn. The Nsaids are known to cause the BMP to not fuse, but the steroid does not play against the BMP. In fact, I've had to have steroid injections while healing from BMP and this was my third BMP fusion surgery. Hope that relieves your fear about taking the prednisone and you will goahead and take it. Inflammation may be what is triggering your spasms, as these are hitting you two weeks post op. It's really not unusual, and Iagree that they hurt like heck.

 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:25 PM   #13
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

no problem It does make a difference to know that others know what you are going through. After a few of us were having this exact problem, I believe someone did a search and found that there might be a drug given to patients during surgery to help with pain and that it wears off about 14 days after surgery. i never did ask my surgeon about it, guess I was a bit nervous to! My poor husband was freaking out b/c he had never seen me in so much pain and he didn't know why. That was NOT a fun night!

 
Old 03-23-2005, 07:53 PM   #14
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

[QUOTE=mel1977]no problem It does make a difference to know that others know what you are going through. After a few of us were having this exact problem, I believe someone did a search and found that there might be a drug given to patients during surgery to help with pain and that it wears off about 14 days after surgery. i never did ask my surgeon about it, guess I was a bit nervous to! My poor husband was freaking out b/c he had never seen me in so much pain and he didn't know why. That was NOT a fun night![/QUOTE]


Mel,

You are so right about it being so painful that we can freak out our loved ones. Three family members were in the room when my worst spasms hit inthe hospital and the doc came in shortly after. I was out of my mind with pain and it took a minute or two to figure out it was spasms but I was loosing it. Even today my sister-in-law and mother are afraid I might have another spasm that bad and they won't know what to do. With the doc standing there and knowing he had never seen me like that even with the broken back, that was the one time that nurses didn't take 30 minutes to bring an injection. He made sure to order another injection just before we left the hospital along with a pain and anti-nausea injection for the hour ride home. Had I found this board before all of that, maybe I could have handled things a little better, but then maybe not. Spasms are pretty awsome.

 
Old 03-24-2005, 10:40 AM   #15
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Re: 2 weeks post-surgery, having major problems help!!

Hello everyone, I am happy to say that I woke up this morning and am not in the agony I was in the last two days! Thank you Jesus!! I am still going to take my 6 days of steroids, I trust my doctor, he works on famous athletes, and has an impecable reputation. I was on the fence for most of the day deciding what to do, but I believe he wouldn't prescribe them if they would do harm to my fusion. It feels good to be able to get out of bed for awhile, that wasn't the case the last two days. I have had several of those "lightning spasms" as I call them today, but not constantly. The weather may have played a factor as well, it was cold and damp, and now it's sunny and warm.

Anyway, thank you all so much for your advice, I still have open ears to anyone that has any other suggestions or comments. I will stay in touch to let you know how I am progressing. I am really glad to be done with this surgery, I was dreading it.

I have a herniation T7-8 laying on my spinal cord, but my husband and I decided the surgery was to risky, and I don't want to end up with paralysis. So I will endure with the wrap around pain and headaches, and continue going to chiropractic and accupressure massage for relief. I keep asking "when will I ever find relief?" I don't think I will ever be out of pain, but knowing that there are other people out there like myself who understands makes a big difference.

All my problems are from two different drunk drivers hitting me. I guess I am lucky to be alive (my husband was killed, and a little girl also). God must have some plan for my life to keep me here in such pain and agony, and I am going to trust in him.

God bless all of you who are hurting, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

 
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